MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Thursday, April 9, said that she tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
"As a government official and Cabinet member, and as a Filipino, it is my duty to annouce that yesterday, April 8, late afternoon, I was informed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine that I am positive for SARS-COV-2," Briones said in a statement sent to media.
According to Briones, she got tested twice for the coronavirus. The first one was on March 13, after a number of officials were exposed to a COVID-19 patient. The result came back negative on March 16.
Briones said she was tested again on April 2. "I had myself tested again after another Cabinet member announced the he tested and declared positive. He and I attended an urgent and critical meeting of select Cabinet officials on March 23," she added.
The 79-year-old Briones said that she is aysmptomatic and is now in isolation. "Like my fellow Cabinet member, I will continue working virtually."
Aside from Briones, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also tested positve for the virus on March 31. (READ: LIST: PH officials in quarantine, affected by coronavirus)
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Malacañang was saddened that Briones had contracted the coronavirus disease.
"We are praying that she gets healed from this dreadful disease," said Panelo.
As of Wednesday, the Philippines registered 3,870 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 182 deaths and 96 recoveries. – Rappler.com